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Topic: Tragedy !

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Aug 12, 2009
Tragedy !

Hi all

We spoke of wars and romance.....

In the works, what do you think is the most tragic aspect/story/concept.....

I love the idea  of J.R.R.'s concept of barring Galadriel from the west...

The greatest (debatable) of the eldar...barred........brilliant !

That's tragic...but what else...?

What else is unjust....that what seems to be wrong or tragic ?

Grrrrrrr i'm listening to the rolling stones....not tragic..uh uh uh  no....yeah yeah yaeh uh cant always get uh no .......waht you need...yeah..uh  yeah!

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
The whole Children of Hurin thing.
Now that is tragedy!
Bear


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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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One of the most tragic happenings for me is discovering that even though Aragorn knew the lore of Beren and Luthian, at the bitter end he did not grasp the idea that Arwen could not just go to the Grey Havens and jump on a ship into the West. Of course the Fall of Beleriand was tragic as well.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'I love the idea  of J.R.R.'s concept of barring Galadriel from the west...'

I do too; and incidentally, I'm happy that you state it so certainly (others on the web will sometimes raise Tolkien's 'unpublished' variants to muddle the picture).



-- Edited by Galin on Monday 17th of August 2009 12:42:00 PM

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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I don't think that people realize that there were several versions of the stories begun and abandoned. I got confused the first time I tried to read some of chris' stuff that he had gathered for discussion.

I have to agree with Bear. The line of Hurin is a tragic one from begining to end. Eowyn finding herself and losing her uncle at the same time on the field of battle was pretty tragic to me also.

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Hi all

Wooooo The children of Hurin is indeed tragic to the point of despair.....without hope.

I love the lamentation of Galadriel....it adds a wonderful depth to her character....it gives her the ability to "grow" and pass the test....she had everything she ever wanted....yet she learned that what she really needed was, that which she lost...

When I was a boy , when I read about Borromir's passing...it seemed that he was just a baddy  that died. As an adult I understand the tragedy of it....to be ensared by forces greater than yourself. A reocurring theme.....

The end of the 3rd age...when the last ship sails is tragic.....the magic in the world passes away and fades......sad.



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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What might be confusing about the history of Artanis Nerwende is that The Lord of the Rings really only implies a bannishment, mixed with at least one statement that yet seems to indicate Galadriel thinks she can return into the West (made directly after refusing the One). CJRT is not sure that the idea of Galadriel being under a ban certainly existed when his father wrote The Lord of the Rings, giving his evidence in Unfinished Tales.

Tolkien had not 'discovered' Galadriel until The Lord of the Rings, and when revising already existing Silmarillion stories he naturally worked her in. He did this in the early 1950s, when The Lord of the Rings was completed (well, 'mostly' completed) but not yet published, making Galadriel one of the leaders of the Elves who had left Aman -- a role taken up by CJRT into the constructed Silmarillion.

But it was only later in the 1960s that Tolkien specifically published that Artanis had been banned. This is made clear in The Road Goes Ever On, which probably far less people have read compared to The Lord of the Rings. In this text Nerwen's song from The Lord of the Rings is considered, and her role in the Rebellion; although this was not the last he would write (as opposed to publish) about Galadriel, in both letters and private papers.

Edit: ah I see Filli snuck another post in while I was blathering on biggrin




-- Edited by Galin on Thursday 13th of August 2009 06:50:44 PM

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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lol

If you ain't fast yer last.
I suppose tragedy like romance hits the very soul....well for me anyway..

How about the sinking of Numenor......very Soddom and Gamorah..old Testament......

I hope that all the goodies got on them boats 


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Yep the Drowning of Numenor is a sad one. The greatest race of Men to be placed on a pedestal, but finally succumbing to temptation of Everlasting life. Kind of similar to Adam and Eve.

But without a doubt the most emotive sad story for me is the story of Gollum. Sure, the Children of Hurin is probably worse, but there is something about the character of Gollum at the end of LOTR that actually makes me slightly sad, rather than just appreciating someones sadness from the sidelines without actually feeling sad to any degree yourself (like I do with the Children of Hurin's tale).

PS: so whats the end conclusion with Galadriel, Galin? All these different versions you have makes me a tad dizzy.wink.gif

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Well, for me at least, Tolkien-published text is the official history of Galadriel. So to simplify:

Galadriel was one of the leaders of the Rebel Noldor, and: 'After the overthrow of Morgoth at the end of the First Age a ban was set upon her return, and she had replied proudly that she had no wish to do so' (RGEO). Celeborn was Sindarin.

In a sort of 'published stuff -- and that which fits with it' approach we could build more history around this from Tolkien's writings of course, like Galadriel meeting Celeborn in Doriath for instance, or her role in Tirion, as taken up into the 1977 Silmarillion.

Other matters like Galadriel's role in the kinslaying, or when she passed into Eriador, or into Lorien -- these are a bit more complicated, but in any case I assume the end conclusion you mentioned concerned mainly Nerwen's exile. So that's my take on that anyway, and as I say, I also think it's the better story.



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Once we start musing on the 'unpublished' variants that Christopher Tolkien has made public, it can get very confusing, but just for example, even though it is dated relatively late, the text in which Galadriel has a separate departure from the Noldor does not work with already published history.

That said, even Tolkien-published text is not entirely consistent 'with itself' in some ways (like for instance, changes between editions), but my method is to put statements that are more certainly expressed above others that might only 'imply' variations. 

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Galin and All,
To follow more closely those ideas in the text that are "affirmed" over those that are "implied" makes good sense. 
Just as trying to collate
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The Children of Hurin is an impossibility so is describing and collating a life time of work in a literary field such as "Fantasy."
By its very nature "Fantasy" is a work of imagination, creativity, and improvisation.
But more significant is the nature of the author.  From the rich field of medieval  literature  that encompassed Norweigen, Germanic, Old English and a dozen other venues, plus writing for dozens of different audiences, Tolkien is not going to be found anywhere engraved in stone.
And in my humble opinion we should not expect him to be.
Each of us see Tolkien's stories, poems, and other writings through a very unique lens; our own imaginations.

While we have the input and opinions of sages such as yourself; "That said, even Tolkien-published text is not entirely consistent 'with itself' in some ways (like for instance, changes between editions), but my method is to put statements that are more certainly expressed above others that might only 'imply' variations..." and "I do too;(like the idea of Galadriel barred from the West) and incidentally, I'm happy that you state it so certainly...others on the web will sometimes raise Tolkien's 'unpublished' variants to muddle the picture..." plus the idea that the Forums is a place where speculation and "stirring the pot" is a welcomed virtue, it will be to the varients that some will cling to just for the sake of discussion.

The topic is Tragedy.  What could be more tragic than pinning the master to a set script and denying to ourselves the joy of selecting from the many multiple headed threads of his imagination.
Heck!  There might be one where Galadriel adopts a pet Bear!!!



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I can't recall this being mentioned to any degree thus far, but the Fall of Beleriand is a major tragedy. While the end of Numenor may be a big one, the fall of a great race of Men, I think Beleriand represented the Elves at their very peak of might and glory, and yet remaining pretty independent from the Valar. And for it to slowly fall into death, decay and desolation at the hands of Morgoth I think is pretty sad.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Glorfindel 1235,
I agree. The Fall of Beleriand is  the most influential tragedy.
The rest of the history is dictated by this.
Good choice,
Bear


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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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I think another tragic story is that of Earendil. He braved so much on behave of the peoples of Beleriand to bring the Valar to their aid. Only to have to see the fall of that land and never be able to see his children or even touch foot on Arda until the End of Days.

Another tragedy was the hiding of Valinor from the eyes of the Faithful men.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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[I wrote:] "I do too; (like the idea of Galadriel barred from the West) and incidentally, I'm happy that you state it so certainly...others on the web will sometimes raise Tolkien's 'unpublished' variants to muddle the picture..."


I admit this statement was a bit ill considered on my part (though some other remarks, now edited, were intended tongue in cheek), or at least poorly expressed. But instead of a long winded version that better expresses what I should have said, I'll put it this way for now: one can  raise any idea for discussion, yes, and of course, also raise a given idea in disagreement with my opinion.

Off topic again. Oh well, just wanted to add it smile 





-- Edited by Galin on Thursday 20th of August 2009 02:16:35 AM

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Getting back to Galadriel, I hope. She was forgiven and she did find that the Way West wasn't as lost to her as she thought even at the time of the Fellowship. But she could only go as far as Eressea Valinor was indeed closed to her, if my memory serves me right. She was so close yet so far and able to see that shore. Here Elrond and Mithrandir were and they were able to travel on but not her. That was tragic.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Where did you read that? I should maybe re-read some of my literature or get new. That is info to me.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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I'm going to have to look up the references, lomoduin. I'm not finding them as quickly as I hoped. No doubt someone may see this a provide the answers for us.

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Ok, its early in the morning and I may muddle this but I'll to make sense..heh. Tolkien described the fate of Galadriel in three letters especially. In the first, written sometime in 1951, Tolkien wrote a full synopsis of the history of Middle Earth. On page 150 of The Letters of JRR Tolkien he wrote:"We learn that the Exiled Elves were, if not commanded, at least sternly counciled to return into the West, and there be at peace. They were not to dwell permenantly in Valinor again, but in the Lonely Isle of Eressea within sight of the Blessed Realm."

The second letter dated 4 August 1973 Tolkien wrote this of the Lady of Light:"Galadriel was "unstained":she had commited no evil deeds. She was the enemy of Feanor. She did not reach Middle-earth with the other Noldor, but independently. Her reason for desiring to go to Middle-earth were legitimate, and she would have been permitted to depart, but for the misfortune that before she set out the revolt of Feanor broke out, and she became involved in the desperate measures of Manwe, and the ban on all emigration."

In another Letter dated 1967 on page 386 Tolkien wrote:" ,(The attempt of Earendil to cross Ear was against the Ban of the Valar prohibiting all Men to attempt to set foot on Aman, and against the later special ban prohibiting the Exiled Elves, followers of the rebellious Feanor, from return: referred to in Galadriel's lament."

At the bottom of page 386 is a footnote that says:"At the time of her lament in Lorien she believed this to be perennial, as long as Earth endured. Hence she concludes her lament with the wish or prayer that Frodo may as a special grace be granted a purgatorial (but not penal) sojourn to Eressea, the Solitary Isle in sight of Aman, though for her the way is closed"....."Her prayer is granted-but also her personal ban was lifted, in reward for her services against Sauron, and above all her rejection of the temptation to take the Ring when offered to her. So at the end we see her taking ship."

Mithrandir and Elrond would be under no such ban.

-- Edited by Anorlas on Monday 24th of August 2009 11:39:13 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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OK, and not that Sunleaf claimed otherwise, but to add, as I read them, of the three letters just cited only one refers particularly to a ban on Valinor (incidentally, the 1973 letter, number 353, is an example which contradicts the already published history of Galadriel). 

To me only letter 131 (probably late 1951) written to Milton Waldman, speaks specifically of the Exiles not dwelling permanently in Valinor again (noting 'permanently'). Here JRRT is explaining some history to Waldman in an attempt to demonstrate that The Lord of the Rings should be published with The Silmarillion. OK, but it is interesting to note that the Quenta Silmarillion as it still existed in 1951 (at least) had no mention of a ban on Valinor, but rather read:

Quenta Silmarillion mid 1930s to end of '37: 'Thence in many a fleet the survivors of the Gnomes, and of the companies of the Dark-elves of Doriath and Ossiriand, set sail into the West (...) And when they came into the West the Gnomes for the most part rehabited the Lonely Isle, that looks both West and East (...) But some returned even to Valinor, as all were free to do who willed...' The Lost Road 

Tolkien didn't write this in 1951, he had written it before Galadriel was even 'discovered' as a character in Middle-earth actually, but this is not only how the text still read in 1951, it is also the last extant version of this section of the Quenta Silmarillion proper. Tolkien made no cursory correction to this section later, nor would rewrite it in the years following the writing or publication of The Lord of the Rings.

Thus (for comparison) Christopher Tolkien's constructed Silmarillion published in 1977 reads: '... and thence in many a fleet the Eldar set sail into the West (...) And when they came into the West the Elves of Beleriand dwelt upon Tol Eressea, the lonely Isle, that looks both west and east; whence they might come even to Valinor.'

Does the letter of 1951 represent a revision of the 1937 Silmarillion and earlier Silmarillion related texts? Possibly. It's interesting to compare the wording in Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age, which we know was in existence by 1948 'From the Grey Havens the Eldar ever an anon set sail (...) '... for by the mercy of the Valar the Firstborn could still follow the Straight Road and return, if they would, to their kindred in Eressea and Valinor beyond the encircling seas.' 

What about references written after Letter 131? Anything to confirm this specific ban on Valinor? Letter 154 (1954) contains the implication that the Eldar (and here the meaning seems to be Eldar = 'West-elves' in my opinion) should be able to pass West 'and so come to Eressea'.

1959 (or thereabouts) Author's note 4 on the commentary to the Athrabeth: 'The passing 'oversea' to Eressea (an isle within sight of Aman) was permitted to, and indeed urged upon, all Elves remaining in Middle-earth after the downfall of Morgoth in Angband.' Morgoth's Ring

All Elves? And 'all' only to Eressea?

Letter 297 (1967) states that the Exiles 'were allowed to return' and in a footnote (as mentioned, though the emphasis with respect to the 'sojourn' is on Frodo in my opinion) it is said that Galadriel cannot go to Eressea.

1969 or later Amroth and Nimrodel: 'It is said that the grace that the Valar gave to us to pass over the Sea is granted now to any of those who made the Great Journey, even if they did not come in ages past to the shores and have not yet beheld the Blessed Land.' Amroth is speaking here; he is Sindarin in descent, Nimrodel is Silvan. Unfinished Tales

Letter 325 1971: 'The 'immortals' who were permitted to leave Middle-earth and seek Aman -- the undying lands of Valinor and Eressea, an Island assigned to the Eldar -- set sail in ships..'

Hmmm. Here 'Aman' appears to include Valinor and Eressea and seems equated with 'Undying Lands'; and Eressea is an Island assigned to the Eldar. The Sindar are certainly Eldar and were not part of Feanor's Rebellion -- passing Oversea, could the Sindar not dwell with the Teleri, their ancient kin, in Eldamar?

This is not an exhaustive list or references. I know more exist because I did not include a couple myself, but they were vague enough and general, and I was looking for something more specific to lengthen an already long post.

While Eressea does get mentioned enough after letter 131, I can't yet find the same sort of definite, restrictive comment concerning Valinor. Or in any case, should we let a letter not intended for Tolkien's readership colour the matter from 1951 onwards? I know letters are full of great information, and I do not discount them, but sometimes I do wonder if Tolkien, theoretically getting around to truly updating the end of Silmarillion, would have banned the Exiles from Eldamar.

And with respect to Galadriel: again, as a 'chief actor' in the Rebellion she did not yet exist in 1937, but entered the Silmarillion tradition in the early 1950s. And her specific ban apart from the other Noldor was not published by Tolkien himself untill much later in the 1960s, in The Road Goes Ever On (generally about the same time, not surprisingly, as letter 297 (1967).

Hmmm. Lots of questions smile

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Thanks for the additional information, Balin. I don't have knowledge of a lot of this.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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No problem Anorlas. And the short of it is, I must admit that letter 131 might represent a change that Tolkien never got around to in Quenta Silmarillion proper (though again, what does 'permanently' mean, if so), simply because he never got around to finishing his Silmarillion.


And not to be annoyingly pedantic but my name is Galin  biggrin

I actually don't know why it says 'Balin...' and etc. under my name. I think it's just some sort of automatic rank that changes due to post count maybe (?)






-- Edited by Galin on Monday 24th of August 2009 04:30:33 PM

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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A great post Galin!smile.gif
Alas that the history of Galadriel and Celeborn is so fragmented. It would be good to hear what was 'likely' the 'final' (i.e. best/most reliable etc) account of their history, including Amroth in Lorien, but I find it laboursome trying to decipher Christopher Tolkien's notes on the text, after a while.

Wouldn't it be great if three books were published, one for each Age, and they contained every bit of information we have of each Age that Christopher Tolkien considers to be the most reliable. All of this deciphering of dates and things gives me a headache.

EDIT: yeah, Galin, thats your forum rank. I'm guessing when you joined you asked to be put into the dwarf-kingdom?

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 on Monday 24th of August 2009 09:27:54 PM

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Ahhh my apologies, Galin. I meant no disrespect.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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No problem Anorlas! and now that I think of it, I called you Sunleaf (technically not your name, but its translation I guess).

'Alas that the history of Galadriel and Celeborn is so fragmented. It would be good to hear what was 'likely' the 'final' (i.e. best/most reliable etc) account of their history, including Amroth in Lorien, but I find it laboursome trying to decipher Christopher Tolkien's notes on the text, after a while.'

Admittedly it is a misty, complex path, but I like that sort of thing -- well, when it involves certain subjects in Lord of the Rings, anyway.

smile

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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lol..all is forgiven Galin. Tolkien did give us much to ponder over. I wonder how many of us would enjoy these forums if his works were totally cut and dried. The search and journey through his Middle-earth is half the fun as much as reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and taking it all at face value.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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I never cease to be amazed at the well spring of information available on this forum. The depth of knowledge of the members here has inspired me from the beginning to dig deeper and search for clues and a greater understanding. From my simple question comes an over abundance of not just ideas and assumption but sited references with the source of each for anyone who may wish to affirm thier accuracy. I am truly blessed to be a member here with each of you and just wanted to say thank you to everyone of you who takes the time to help those like me better understand Tolkien and his marvelous works.



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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Hi
My  key isnt orking.

The Children of Hurin as uncomfortable reading.....I love a tragedy , but that story ent to far.

It as a bit more gro n up...as it had an incestous relationship.

I love tragedy, but that story as too dark......Turin had a negative Midas touch...everything he touched turned to the bro n stuff.

Perhaps his as the greatest tragedy....and hy he gets revenge at the end of days.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Filli, this is a bit off subject but I can't tell.... are you holding a leaf blower or a bazooka? lol

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Filli, might I suggest using two 'V's? For example - vv

smile.gif

PS - your forum kingdom rank kind of suits you, 'Hobbit from Hardbottle' hehe. Been at the bottle too much, I'd wager.wink.gif

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Hey all

well I'm holding a concrete breaker.......very manly!

My w key is still ill, but I found an on screen keyboard thingy

A posh waiter once queeried my wine selection....
"what makes a good wine sir?"

without a pause I replied......"Sir....if the bottle is empty in the morning it must have been good"

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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God Bless every drop!

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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I liked The Children of Hurin, but also found it hard to get through. There are some books that I will read once and only once because I found them to be too much of a downer. I think The Children of Hurin is one of those.  I remember I read 1984 and I said to myself "Well that was good but I'm never reading that again!".  It put me in a funk for days after I finished it.

I think I prefer the Akallabeth and the fall of Numenor as far as a good tragedy goes. It's even better because they so completely deserved it and should have seen it coming.

-- Edited by The Secret Fire on Monday 31st of August 2009 01:15:43 AM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Secret Fire,
Me too.  The Children of Hurin just hits a spot to close to some of my patients.  Incest is nasty stuff, concentual or not.  And an overbearing mother!!! Yikes!  These folks are on my couch for years!
Bear


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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I don't think any book or film could cause me to never watch it again via triggering an emotion. The Children of Hurin is definitely a good read for those who know a bit about the lore of Middle-earth and don't mind reading a more - old fasioned(?) - style of writing. Its a sad story but nothing in there 'hits a nerve', neither incest, death or whatever. I guess Hurin is the one who suffered most of all.

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